Gogo 5G Explained

Your biggest 5G questions. Answered by Gogo experts.

In the fall of 2022, Gogo will launch our nationwide airborne 5G broadband network dedicated exclusively to business aviation. Gogo 5G is the mobile broadband experience of the future, and will give you more of everything you love about inflight Wi-Fi: more speed, more capacity, more devices, more live experiences.

But we understand that you might have questions. 5G is, after all, a quantuum leap forward in technology. So to give you additional perspective, we gathered our senior leadership team and asked them to explain what customers can expect in terms of performance, equipment, and installation. 

Q. From a big-picture standpoint, what impact will Gogo’s 5G network have on business aviation?

A. Mike Syverson, Senior Vice President, Operations and Engineering: We believe it is the most impactful development we’ve announced in many years. Gogo 5G will be significantly better than any other inflight Wi-Fi experience in the market today. Not only will Gogo 5G be faster and provide both greater bandwidth and greater capacity, it will be the most reliable network for business aircraft, thanks to the end-to-end, 3GPP-certified 5G infrastructure we're deploying. Simply put, Gogo 5G is designed to help business aviation keep pace with modern data and online experience demands -- today and far into the future.

When we launch, we will provide 100% nationwide CONUS coverage, and from a customer-service perspective, we’ve made it easy for customers to equip their aircraft by installing an AVANCE L5 and upgrading it to Gogo 5G connectivity.

a graphic explaining the benefits of 5G

Q. Can you explain what the 5 primary benefits of Gogo 5G are?

A. Syverson: There are 5 key differentiators that we will deliver with Gogo 5G:
1) High speed: It's excellent already for those using our AVANCE L5, but Gogo 5G will deliver 25Mbps on average, with peak speeds in the 75-80Mbps range. We are confident that with our new higher speeds and inherent low latency, 5G will deliver the best connectivity experience in business aviation.
2) High reliability: Our network uptime is over 99.7%, which results from the infrastructure of our networks and our unique ability to use both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. This is a critical differentiator that separates us from every other inflight connectivity provider and will enable a seamless, "clear signal" experience nationwide, even in areas where there is heavy "noise" interference from the ground.
3) Low latency: Gogo 5G will have ultra-low latency. Much lower latency than GEO satellite systems. This is important for things like video conferencing, Facetime, and even phone conversations and email. Higher latency can make those activities bog down or be impossible.
4) High bandwidth and capacity: 5G is not just about speed, it’s about increased bandwidth and capacity. That’s critically important in today’s business aviation environment because every passenger, and even the pilots and crew, are bringing multiple devices on board. Connectivity needs to enable many more users to access the network and do whatever they need to do without degradation, especially as we consume higher and higher amounts of data.
5) Nationwide coverage: At launch, Gogo 5G will deliver 100% CONUS coverage for business aviation. And soon after, we will expand coverage into Canada. 

Q. What are Gogo’s plans for rolling out the 5G networks?

A. Syverson: We plan to launch our 5G network in the fall of 2022 on a nationwide (US) scale in North America and we're deploying our network now. And then we'll add additional capacity when and where we need to, like we did when we launched our original network. In essence, we will flip a switch to turn on the nationwide Gogo 5G network and make adjustments thereafter as needed. We will also then expand the network into Canada to bring this incredible 5G experience to those flight paths.

Q. What does the use of licensed and unlicensed spectrum allow Gogo to do?

A. Syverson: Using unlicensed spectrum along with the spectrum we own is unique to Gogo and a big competitive advantage. While the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band is available to essentially everyone from cellphone providers to home Wi-Fi units, Gogo’s licensed 850 MHz spectrum means that no other traffic can use that channel, and that’s an important distinction. Additionally, as spectrum opportunities become available and the ability for us to use either continuous spectrum or spectrum that is not in the same block, we will be able to add additional capacity and capabilities to our network without having to build a whole new network in the future. We’re designing the Gogo 5G network with all of that in mind.

Q. What is Gogo doing to make accessing 5G as smooth as possible for customers?

A. Dave Glenn, Senior Vice President, Customer Operations: Generally speaking, things move much slower in the aviation industry than in ground-based telecom. However, that's not the case with airplane connectivity. Technology, and how passengers use it, is evolving at a much faster pace for connectivity on an aircraft. Many operators are used to putting avionics on an aircraft and having it last 15 years. So they're tired of connectivity solutions that need to be replaced every time something new comes out. They want solutions that will last a long time. Customers have told us they want us to make the process simpler and easier - decrease the cost, decrease the complexity of the installation, increase the sustainability of the solution, and make it faster. We’ve listened carefully to that feedback and our development teams have responded.  

Gogo 5G being powered by the AVANCE platform is a good example of how we're making connectivity easier for customers. Gogo 5G is simply an enhancement to a current AVANCE L5 system. By provisioning your aircraft's L5 for Gogo 5G, the whole process is simpler and faster. It's another example of how the AVANCE platform transforms your aircraft into a smartplane: where everything works together and everything is designed to be sustainable, not replaced. 

Q. What will happen to the current Gogo Biz 4G network once Gogo 5G is available? 

A. Syverson: Gogo is going to utilize our networks to ensure that customers will get the best experience they can when using our air-to-ground network. Our Gogo Biz 4G network will remain operational and it’s not going anywhere because it delivers a great experience to our customers. With 5G we’re adding capacity without sacrificing any of the current capabilities our customers have on today’s networks. It ensures that we can give our customers the flexibility to choose the right network to suit their needs. 

Q. How important is the AVANCE platform relative to 5G?

A. Andy Geist, Senior Vice President, Business Aviation Solutions: Gogo 5G is another area where we’ll be a market disruptor - and that’s something we’ve done from our founding. It’s in our roots. The AVANCE platform is a great example of our innovative approach to enabling connectivity. Unlike traditional avionic LRUs, which are designed to only do one thing, Gogo AVANCE systems are fully integrated platform solutions. Everything works together and everything is designed to be sustainable, not replaced.

Additionally, we’re making sure that the investments people made when they installed an AVANCE L5 system will continue to pay off. You’ll need AVANCE L5 and it will be the most seamless upgrade we’ve ever designed. 

Q. Will the capabilities with 5G be that much different than with 4G?

A. Syverson: With Gogo 5G our goal is to deliver significantly more bandwidth and capacity to the airplane, so everyone on board can use all of their devices in the way they want, without any degradation to the experience. With 5G, additional streaming capabilities become available along with so many other enhanced capabilities - it will be a great change. 

a chart showing the difference in capabilities between 4G and 5G networks

Q. How is Gogo’s network unique from other networks serving aviation?

A. Glenn: Gogo is the only inflight connectivity provider that owns and optimizes its whole network infrastructure and is the only provider that manufactures the equipment for its onboard systems. Because we operate and manage our systems end to end, we can monitor and analyze the performance, and the security, of our network and onboard systems, and quickly deploy corrections when and where needed. No other provider can do that. 

Q. What makes Gogo customer service different from everyone else?

A. Glenn: Our main focus the last several years has been on transparency and providing more information to our customers. By introducing new systems such as Gogo DASH, which as both an app and a ground portal, we can give the end-user on the aircraft insight into the onboard system at a device level. It makes it easier to get to the actual issue. The 5G experience will be added into the DASH application so they will have that information right off the bat as soon as they buy it. 

Q. From a network perspective, what is Gogo doing to ensure a successful launch and initial experience for customers?

A. Glenn: The main thing relative to the network is we have a network today comprised of more than 250 towers. The tenure of our network team is such that many of the people who built our original network and put our equipment on those towers are still here. They know our systems, they know the geography, they've done similar planning - it’s not our first rodeo, so to speak. While others are trying to figure out how to do this on the fly, we’ve done it a number of times over, and Gogo 5G is the next natural progression. 

Learn more about Gogo 5G

Keep exploring how Gogo 5G is the future of inflight connectivity and how you can get provisioned today.